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League One

Hard-fought win sweeter for Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade

12 March 2014

Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade was delighted with a hard-earned three points from a 2-0 win at fired-up Port Vale.

The final scoreline was no reflection on the balance of play, but a quality goal from Dean Cox and a second from skipper Nathan Clarke secured the Londoners victory.

Slade said: "I've always thought this is a difficult place to come and I wasn't very happy early on because we started sloppily.

"But we gradually grew into the game and it was a terrific goal by Dean. Four players were involved in the move and it was a fantastic finish.

"The second goal was a bit fortunate. Nathan's got a good header in, but I've just watched it again and it looked like their keeper had two hands on the ball before it slipped through.

"Vale Park is a big pitch and it is important for your wide players to play their part.

"I thought ours (Cox and Moses Odubajo) were excellent to help us to a very pleasing three points.

"We had to soak up some pressure at times and our goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic is pleased the match is over.

"He was kept busy in the second half and made some good saves."

Orient were on the back-foot before they took the lead against the run of play four minutes before the interval.

Odubajo slipped the ball into the path of Cox 20 yards out and the midfielder struck a perfectly-placed shot which clipped the crossbar on its way in.

It was tough on Vale, who continued to ask questions at the start of the second half when Doug Loft's header was cleared off the goalline by Lloyd James.

But Orient doubled their advantage in the 58th minute following a rare slip by Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal.

James's right-wing corner was headed goalwards from 12 yards by Clarke and Neal failed to keep the ball out of the left-hand corner of his net.

Vale continued to show terrific spirit and had the ball in the net twice only to be denied by infringements, while substitute Billy Knott rattled the crossbar.

Jakupovic was also outstanding throughout the second period as Vale somehow drew a blank.

Vale boss Micky Adams said: "We are disappointed to come away with nothing.

"We got into their shorts and unsettled them for much of the game, but didn't have any luck in front of goal.

"I thought the second one which was disallowed should have stood as a goal. Nathan Clarke has gone down very easily and I didn't think it was a foul.

"The enthusiasm and effort the players put in was first-class, but we've been denied by a very good goalkeeper and I'm proud of our performance.

"It was a quality goal by Cox, but that was no surprise because I saw that when he played for me at Brighton. He's a quality player.

"The pace of the game was terrific from start to finish and I couldn't have asked any more of my players in terms of effort.

"If you lose a game of football, which is inevitable at times, you want to do it like that."

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